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Berserker Imperial Stout - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Berserker Imperial StoutBerserker Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

840 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 840
Reviews: 232
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.22%
Wants: 834
Gots: 223 | FT: 23
Brewed by:
Midnight Sun Brewing Co. visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  12.70% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
Vicious and viscous, this menacing brew pours opaque black with a creamy maduro-colored head. Its aroma offers seductive whiskey, chewy red wine, dark fruit and lavish tobacco. Berserker Imperial Stout invades your taste buds with in-your-face flavor. Weighing in at almost 13% alcohol by volume, Berserker is completely out-of-control. Give it a good fight. Berserker Imperial Stout was aged in both red wine and whiskey barrels.

Original release of Berserker was at 10.4%, subsequent vintages have gone upwards of 12.7%. When reviewing, please list beer vintage and that vintage's specific ABV.

30 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-13-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 840 | Reviews: 232 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this bottle was shared with me by wedge9. Thanks Andy!

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark dark black bodied beer with a dark mocha head that starts out about 1 finger tall and drops down into a ring around the top of this beastly looking stout. Nice lacing on the glass.

Smell: you can really smell the red wine barrel. I also smell dark chocolates, and roasty malts. Really pleasant smelling beer, never really smelled a beer like this before!

Taste: Its like a red wine crossed with dark chocolates; bitter and semidry like a red wine. Oaky, smokey, and roasty characteristics. Huge malt profile, its big beer thats nice and complex.

Mouthfeel: This beer is full bodied. Moderate carbonation. Slightly over carbonated, but this beer tastes so good it does not take away from the beer at all.

Overall: My first midnight sun brewing co beer. These guys can brew a big stout! Its tastey and complex and I have never had a stout like this before. Don't pass this one up!

4DAloveofSTOUT, Aug 05, 2011
Photo of brentk56
4.9/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2009 bottling

Appearance: Black as midnight with a very modest mocha head that fritters away to a ringlet in short order, while leaving a streak of lacing

Smell: Rich and velvety dark chocolate, dark fruit, tobacco and molasses

Taste: Rich dark chocolate tones, up front, joined by a hint of maple and a vinous fruity character that morphs by adding a touch of bourbon at mid-palate; the alcohol also adds character and there is a tobacco-esque hoppy element, as well; the finish is lengthy and smooth

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; subtle heat in the finish

Overall: A superb beverage that is as good as any RIS I have tasted

brentk56, Aug 05, 2011
Photo of domtronzero
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No vintage marking on bottle, but it's marked as being bottled N-2 (November, week 2). 12.7% abv, 22 oz. bottle, shared by Dankbeers619. Thanks Kyle!

A - Dark brown colored with a small, short lived tannish head. Lingering whispy bubbles and a small ring around the glass. Little lacing.

S - Sweet dark malts, ripe fruits, and a bit of roast. A little bit of caramel and vanilla. Slight alcohol is perfumy and pleasant.

F/M - Rich chocolate, caramel and vanilla. Dark fruit-like esters with a nice alcoholic bitterness. A little warm on the palate, but it isn't too detracting. Sweet bourbon notes. Medium full bodied, a little oily up front, but doesn't finish too sweet. Lingering caramelly chocolate flavors.

O - What a great beer. Nice stout body with very pleasant bourbon barrel characteristics. I wish this beer was easier to find as I'd be drinking a lot more of it.

domtronzero, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2008 Berserker. I think this came from Beerzebub. He is the man, regardless.

A - It pours black as a crow with ruby edges and is capped with a persistent film of dark khaki froth.

S - The nose is just so luxurious and decadent. Cinnamon ice cream, streusel topping, dark fruit, dates and figs, vanilla, cardamom, caramelized sugar, fudge, pipe tobacco and oatmeal are all noted. Delicious.

T - This beer tastes fantastic. Maple, molasses and barrel notes are heavily integrated, also something like chocolate-covered prunes. Some oxidation is noted; it is well-integrated though. Oak is present in appreciable quantities, however, it is subtly applied. There is a lot of dark-fruity character. As it airs out, some herbal hops come out and there is an increased sweetness on the finish. Hugely complex and very delicious.

M - The feel is a bit lighter than I expected, but it makes up for it with a silky texture and soft micro-bubbles.

O - Great stuff. Breaking news: Midnight Sun makes great beer.

ktrillionaire, Jul 14, 2011
Photo of maximum12
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BrewsB4Shrews for this 22 oz. bottle that arrived, oh, probably eighteen months ago. Seeing the insane trade value, I've been reluctant to crack it open - I've been seriously underwhelmed by Midnight Sun to date & thought multiple times about just sending it on. But hey, bourbon & maple syrup are two of my favorite things & I'll likely not get another crack at this one, so...yeah. Here we go. No vintage indicated, bottled 1st week of August of some year.

Pours straight black; being an old D&D geek, I appreciate the cool battle-axe artwork. Smell is sweet earth dropped into a bourbon snifter. I like where this madness is headed.

Berserker is a heavy-handed brew; one sip is like a bite of elvin lembas (help, I need my Monster Manual!), filling the stomach like a three-course meal. Pushing past that, there's a slow-building bourbon fire. It doesn't leap out of a chair with a +4 Short Sword, but creeps slowly out of its earthy malt shell. Lots of earthiness here. The molasses shows as an honest sweetness. Builds to a finale of bourbon, again, that suffuses the entire palate, all the way down to the digestive tract. Use of the barrel is exquisite.

Interesting beer. I'm not keen on the 'dirty' feel I get off all the Midnight Sun beers, but it works much better with this dark, heavy, menacing brute of a brew. Excellent.

maximum12, Jul 06, 2011
Photo of lakersfan16
4.72/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle.

Pours extremely dense and viscous, absolutely no light coming through this one, with a dark brown head. The taste is extremely complex, very chewy, malty, and syrupy. Hints of vanilla, brown sugar, molasses, cocoa. Midnight sun usually produces great imperial stouts, and this one is one of the best that I've tried anywhere. I eagerly await it's release every year!

lakersfan16, Jun 30, 2011
Photo of jdense
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 oz bomber 2001 (!) vintage supplied by the awesome Shawn Kelso at inaugural DONG (Dudes of Northwest Grog) tasting in The Big, 5.21.11, multiple samples-didn't want to hog this, but what a treat!

Brown head small bubbles, slow dissipation with above average lacing over dark brown/almost jet black body, no visible carbonation, one big dark brew. A truly phenomenal and complex smelling brew, vanilla, some chocolate and coffee, dark stone fruit (figs and prunes), alcohol smell has certainly mellowed as have the hops. The taste is complex and sublime, as it warmed the beer changed character like a chameleon, a bit of cocoa nibs upfront, vanilla goodness in the middle, leading to a finish that kept changing as it warmed, truly a beer to contemplate the meaning of life and beer over. Slick and coating mouthfeel, not a lot of effervescence, no oxidation to speak of. I had a a younger vintage at my first HOTD dock sale several years ago (thanks, Akfaust), but this beer was a true tour de force, one of the best beers I've ever had. If you have the patience to cellar for this long, you will be rewarded. An amazing experience.

jdense, Jun 14, 2011
Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
4.93/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Not very many days are like this day was. Not very many beers are this good. Not very many beers are this hard to come by. Not very meant people get to try a 2010 next to a 2005 vintage of the Beserker.

It was a good day anyways as I had just received an insane box of goodies from johnbjaeger. A couple of hours after opening Jeffo shows up bringing not one but two Beserkers. A 2010 and a 2005. How great can a day be? Great beer night Jeff!

After my heartrate slowed down to an acceptable level I poured this into a snifter.

Man, that is some thick stuff. In a beer heaven the roads are paved with this ultra dark and thick stuff. It leaves a decent size mocha head that has the appearance of tan whipped cream.

So I put my nose over it. BAM! Bourbon, vanilla, mollasses dark cherry like fruits, anise and a wee bit of booze are all crying out for attention.

The next logical thing seemed drinking it. Oh yes, drinking... Bourbon with a burn would be a summary but you'd not hear of the sweetness to biterness and back. You would miss out on the fruitlike flavors I can't identify but I do note sweet mollasses, roasted malts, chocolates and coffe flavors. It's insane.

The mouthfeel isn't as thick as I expected so I put the fork and knife back in the drawer. It's a bit airy, light even but still solid. Great neutral finish with a little alcohol burn.

The 05 version held up pretty well. The barrel seemed to be a whiskey one and there was more bitterness and no alcohol burn that I did find in the 2010.

This is one of the most memorable beers I have ever had. I'm going toleave Beserker on my wants list forever because one can never have enough of this stuff.
Jeffo, you are the man!!! Thanks again!!! This was epic!!!

doopiedoopiedoo, Jun 08, 2011
Photo of RodneyX
4.7/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is an imposing looking black beer that had a brown head that left nothing behind. Head rose up about 1/4 inch and looked good while it was there. Smell was some awesome roasted malts with great barrel flavors like bourbon, oak, and vanilla. There's even some great sweet fruit taste at the end. It's thick and viscous and there isn't really any alcohol detectable here. Really like this one and got through the bottle pretty easily.

RodneyX, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of joshuaseresse
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this nice bottle from black13 a month or two ago, thanks Michael! Been wanting to try this one for quite sometime. 2009 vintage. Split with some La Crosse BAs yesterday:

A - Pitch black with light mocha head. Solid foam ring around the edges. Bit of lacing with some thick legs. The liquid eventually stains the glass.

S - Really smooth bourbon and nice smell of oak barrels. Sweet caramel, chocolate, roast and molasses. Tiny bit of maple syrup.

T - Just a tiny bit smokey but mostly oak, roast, sweet bourbon, cream and boozy maple syrup. You can tell by the taste that it does have some age on it since I was expecting the heat to be quite sharp.

M - Way smooth and creamy. Creamy carbonation and slight sting from the ABV which leaves the mouth slightly tingly.

O - Really solid beer. Lives up to the hype. All the people that I shared this with had never had it and we all loved it. I'd really like another bottle to age for something like 5-6 more years to get it just completely mellowed out but the age this one did have on it worked really well, too. Thanks again Michael for this delicious brew!

joshuaseresse, Jun 06, 2011
Photo of Jeffo
4.63/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally getting to try one of my first ever wants, and two completely different vintages at that. A big thanks goes out to pixieskid for the newer vintage, and a unfathomable thank you goes out to akbeerfiend for the 2005. Thanks a lot gents!

Vintage: 2010 ABV: 12.7% Aged in Oak Barrels
Vintage: 2005 ABV: 10.4% Aged in Oak Whisky Barrels

From a bomber into a snifter
Review for the 2010 with the 2005 as a comparison.

APPEARANCE: Pours out absolutely pitch black and menacing looking. Thick and sludgy tar. Wicked. Pour yields a small, medium-thick looking mocha colored head with good retention. Thick, viscous, jet black body with some carbonation evident. Only a ring remains and leaves a couple dots of lacing down the glass. The head could be a little more persistent, but like the label says, this is vicious, viscous, and menacing. The ’05, however, was slightly lighter and more transparent with a tan colored head. Still blacker and thicker than many others in the style, but not as evil as the ’10.

SMELL: Big nose on this. Roasted malts are there and the barrel comes out nicely. Bourbon, vanilla and oak notes, with some definite sweet molasses, port qualities, and maybe even a hint of sour cherries. Very potent and enjoyable, and the barrel meshes well with the base beer. By comparison, the ’05 was slightly milder and the whisky barrel was a little more dominant. The whisky barrel had left a more piercing boozy, paint thinner aroma. Still wonderful, just different.

TASTE: Just insane. There’s so much flavor it’s falling out of my pockets and shit. Roasted flavors up front with plenty of sweet molasses and barrel. Bourbon, oak, vanilla, and some nice bitter chocolate and sweet molasses accompany the barrel after the swallow. A bolder and lingering aftertaste is full of bitter-sweetness, port and oak, a slight cherry sour touch, and wonderful barrel flavors. So much in here, and it tells a wonderful story, moving from a sweet, barrel beginning, to a more bitter-sweet, oaky, port finish. Just wonderful. The ’05 had many of the same qualities, but wasn’t quite the same. The flavor definitely lacked up front, but came out nicely after the swallow. All the nice molasses and roasted qualities were still there, but the whisky, vanilla and oak flavors from the barrel took center stage a little more. This all made it less sweet and less complex. The barrel aging has held up great for 5+ years. I can only imagine what it was like fresh.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation, and slightly lighter on the palate. Very creamy and smooth, goes down smooth with a bit of heat at the swallow and finishes slightly sticky and mouth-coating on the palate. Could use some more weight, but beautifully creamy and smooth. The ’05 was comparable, being slightly less sticky and the age had made it a little softer.

OVERALL: Absolutely phenomenal. The 2010 vintage was one of the best imperial stouts I’ve had to date. A purely evil pour, reminding me of De Molen’s List & Bedrog in that department, and more complex and flavorful than any beer has the right to be. Top of its class for sure, and well worth the hunt. I will always be on the lookout for another bottle of this fine liquid. A huge thanks again to pixieskid for hooking me on with this one.

The ’05 has held up better than I could have hoped. It was not as bold and complex as the newer vintage, and whisky barrel had imparted a different dimension to the beer, but it was still a world class brew in itself. The bottle had held up wonderfully as well, with absolutely no signs of any oxidization or deterioration at all, so if you’re sitting on a bottle, don’t be afraid to leave it a little longer. A massive, massive thanks to akbeerfiend for making this killer beer night happen. Cheers!

Note: 2012 is underwhelming, but the 2013 is unreal good.

Jeffo, May 11, 2011
Photo of hopsbreath
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bomber shared by MADhombrewer at a tasting last night hosted by ramnuts. ChaseT, WitchsBrew, TulipSnifter, and black13. 2009 vintage/12.7%ABV. Thanks Ben!

A: Very dark brown bordering on black with a translucent plum border. Nutmeg brown head recedes to nothing. Oily with legs, but no lacing. 4/5

S: Tobacco, smoked meat, soy sauce and a touch of oxidation. This is what a slightly aged bottle of stout is supposed to smell like! Complex and interesting. 4/5

T: Very savory. More of an entrée than a dessert. The meat comes back along with some saw dust. Smoke returns with a very clean stale coffee finish. ABV is nowhere to be found. 4.5/5

M: Moderately thin with no carbonation. Very clean and palate drying. Outstanding. 5/5

O: The best savory stout I’ve had to date. This was my personal standout beer of the night amongst a lineup that showed tons of promise, and I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did. We don’t have these kinds of Midnight Sun beers sitting on store shelves at the moment in Portland and I’m really wishing we did. 5/5

hopsbreath, Apr 25, 2011
Photo of sholland119
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to travisd13 for the chance to try this one.

A-Black, impervious, opaque jet black with a thin pool of brown head. Excellent.

S-Boozy vanilla, some sweet herbiness, dark chocolate, dark fruit.

T-Lots going on here. Sweet vanilla, maple syrup, roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, bourbon balls and some dark fruit. Some molasses too. Complex and delicious.

M-Medium bodied with just a bit of heft, very fine carbonation is a pleasant surprise.

O-Really terrific. Any alcohol is very well hidden, the flavors are rich and complex but not overly heavy. Worth seeking out.

HV

sholland119, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of brotherloco
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz Bomber. Bottled 2nd Week November 2010. 12.7% ABV

Pours pitch black with the darkest mocha head I've seen in a beer. Foam dissipates quickly to form a thin ring.

Smell reveals the sweet maple syrup and molasses the this beer is brewed with. I'm getting more of the maple. Vanilla notes from the oak barrel aging are also present. Kind of a red wine tinge too.

First sips are silky smooth, but with a pleasant bite to the flavor. Cherry chocolate and coffee maltiness. Very pleasant sweetness. Molasses is stronger in the flavor than the nose. I'm also getting a note of Belgian-style fruitiness. There is a touch of smokey bourbon in the finish.

Fantastic feel to this beer. Smooth, rich, low to medium carbonation. There is real heat given the high ABV, but the feel and flavor make this a very drinkable imperial stout.

brotherloco, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of madvermin
4.97/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Vintage: Fall 2010, 12.7% abv

Pours a ridiculously dark black with a deeply shaded oak-brown one-finger head that lingers for a bit before becoming a cool looking coffee gum swirl. The beer is just so thick and viscous that the head is just icing on the cake.

The smell is saturated with vanilla and molasses with a touch of sugary sweet character. Roasted malt and slight bitter chocolate adds to the already intoxicating aroma, and perfectly balanced booze adds spice and warmth. A touch of licorice and a little bit of nuttiness just adds to the phenomenal smell. Flawless aroma.

The taste - wow. The words following are not enough to adequately put the scope of this beer together. A blend of the most delicious and delectable roasted malts offer a charred, toasted flavor that is unmatched in any beer I've had. Bitter chocolate and slight booze spice offers a tiny bit of cinnamon. Vanilla and molasses give it a sweetness that is not too strong, but just the right strength. Nuttiness and tobacco is very prevalent and rich - added to the already ridiculous malts, this beer has no match in terms of flavor. Coffee adds even more at the finish with a slightly bitter taste that is just what was needed at that point. The sweetness in this beer is so well done, perhaps due to the maple syrup the label says it was brewed with. I can't say enough about this beer - it's everything one could want in an RIS. Unreal.

Mouthfeel is a velvety smooth, thick viscous syrup that fits the style as perfectly as possible. Booze is hidden outside of a faint warmth it provides which happens to be balanced so that the alcohol never negatively affects anything. Creamy rich flavor just doesn't stop, and the slightly bitter coffee finish keeps it on an otherworldly level in this category. Drinkability = flawless. This is a 12.7% abv beer and I can't stop drinking it at all. I've been "working" on a full glass of this and it's going too fast for my liking.

Midnight Sun you are probably my favorite brewery. Alaskans I am envious of your proximity to them (although I feel bad for you guys being outside the continental 48). GETTHIS BEER AT ALL COSTS.

madvermin, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of AwYeh
4.83/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 vintage, 12.7% ABV. 22oz bomber poured into snifter; huge thanks to madvermin for picking this up to share with me, as it has been one of my biggest wants... and it did not disappoint.

A: Pours an opaque dark brown/black, with a finger of extremely thick, frothy brown head. Great retention and spotty lacing, a good looking beer for certain.

S: Huge molasses aroma kicks things off, with a good deal of brown sugar on the side. I'm also picking up great quantities of bittersweet chocolate and hints of coffee; all around, this is a very well balanced smell.

T: Roasted, toasted malts all over the place, along with a ton of sweet chocolate flavors- I don't want to say this quite has a milk chocolate flavor (there is a good deal of bitterness in there), but it's quite sweet for sure. Long, lingering, bittersweet, malty, nutty, chocolate finish is simply outstanding; one of the best finishes I've ever encountered, which is both hugely enjoyable in itself and begs me to take another sip. After a while, the finish devolves into a straight up roasted flavor- wholly enjoyable, and a rarity, even among imperial stouts. Light coffee and moderately strong vanilla flavors also show up in the flavor... wow, this is good.

M: Medium-bodied, especially so for an RIS. Moderate carbonation leads to a very creamy, very smooth texture, that leaves a dry, but just barely sticky finish behind.

O: Amazing. Outstanding. I'm running short on descriptors for this beer; I am having a hard time rationing this glass for myself. Can't wait until I get a chance to try it again; very, VERY highly recommended if you ever get a chance to pick it up, or trade for it. Definitely worth a trade for some of the more highly touted beers (Dark Lord, Darkness, etc.).

After finishing my glass, I can honestly say this is one of the finest beers I've ever had (at the time of this review, second only to Mikkeler Beer Geek Brunch Weasel, which will definitely need a re-review after this). I highly, HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend this; trade for it, or buy it, if at all possible. Outstanding beer all around.

AwYeh, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of chumba526
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I do agree with several arguing about IPAs and hot food that IPAs and Hot wings do not pair that nicely I prefer an unfiltered yeasty wheat beer (like Upright's four).
Appears solid pure black with a very dark born head that is about an inch or two high.

It smells of coconut, vanilla, and bourbon. I get a slight alcohol "burn" smell. I also get a sweet toffee/ burnt caramel smell.

I get a nice smooth bourbon flavor. A solid vanilla and coconut flavor is present. I get a bit of a toasty burnt caramel flavor as well. There is a bit of a molasses like sweetness. The beer is pretty thick and heavy, yet smooth.

The carbonation is moderate low for this ale. The mouthfeel of this ale (stout) is very thick and syrup like. It is very smooth.

It is a thick heavy beer but it is very smooth and it goes down easy.

Overall a great easy to drink imperial stout. This is actually a good imperial stout for those not familiar to the style because it is so smooth and well balanced.

chumba526, Mar 14, 2011
Photo of ChrisPro
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage 22 oz bottle at Brouwer's on 3/6/11

Pours a viscous black with no head to be seen. Legs linger as I consume.

The nose is a plethora or caramelized flavors: molasses, burnt sugar, caramel, maple and just a hint of licorice.

Taste is incredibly sweet. It's like a sweet chocolate covered molasses-caramel bar. Though it's so sweet, there's a solid amount of bitterness on the finish to round it out.

Full-bodied brew with little carbonation. While it feels oily at first, it actually cleans up as you swallow. Fantastic mouthfeel overall.

Sickeningly drinkable. I think this is at a perfect stage right now. Glad to have tried it.

ChrisPro, Mar 13, 2011
Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
3.83/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Toronado SF

A - Black as night or oil. Blackest pour I may have ever seen from a Bal-Aged imperial stout. Beautiful head on the pour that stuck around longer than expected, great lacing.

S - Port like characteristics come out in the nose, smells sweeter than most of this style. Bourbon, sweet dark fruits, and oaky vanilla come out as well as dark chocolate. Smells like a after dinner sipper. Desert beer.

T - Follows nose. A bit sweeter than I expected and less roasty than I would have liked.

M - Good, not great. Standard for the style. Oily, and somewhat chewy.

D - 6 oz pour was just enough. I wouldn't want to consume a 22oz of this all to myself like I would a Parabola, BCS or Abyss. Would start to get too sweet 1/2 way into a bomber I'd imagine.

Good beer. But nothing memorable.

RBassSFHOPit2ME, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.9/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tasting glass. This review is for the 2010 version, with notes from the 08 below.

Appearance: Berserker does not mess around; this is black all the way though. A tiny coffee colored head fades away and leaves no lace.

Smell: The aroma is burnt brown sugar, molasses, anise, and a bit of smoke.

Taste: This stout is full of character, with tons of chocolate and roast coffee coming through. Some molasses and brown sugar give a little extra sweetness push. The cabernet barrels impart a vinous and woody flavor, also giving it a slight acidic kick toward the end.

Mouthfeel: There is a little harsh booze that scalds my throat a bit and warms my throat and stomach. Definitely full bodied, but also unfortunately a little syrupy and sticky, somewhat due to carbonation that is on the low end.

Drinkability: This enjoyable, but still a bit harsh. Some age will definitely improve upon this, as evidenced below.

----
I was fortunate enough to have the 2008 and 2010 versions side by side. The 2008 was significantly better, almost to the point of being another beer. The 2008 was incredibly drinkable, the 2010 is not quite there yet. The 08 version is much more polished and the flavors blend so well together.
08: 4/4.5/4.5/4.5/4.5
10: 4/4/4/4/3.5

KickInTheChalice, Feb 25, 2011
Photo of corby112
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 vintage generously shared by shadowane.

Pours pitch black and completely opaque without a hint of lighter color when held to a light and a 1.5 finger frothy dark mocha head with good retention, slowly fading into a lasting ring. Sporadic splotches and chunks of lacing left behind.

Sweet, slightly roasted aroma with hints of roasted coffee bean, silky chocolate, honey, molasses, bittersweet dark chocolate, tobacco and cedar. Slightly leathery with some earthy oak tannis as well as some faint vanilla. The barrel character is evident but not over powering in the nose letting the other scents shine through.

Chewy medium body that's on the fuller end with a slightly dry, bitter hop presence and a very roasted malt character. Deep roasted flavor up front with silky bittersweet dark chocolate, coffee/espresso bean and oatmeal. This is countered by a nice creamy lactic presence, that along with the molasses and honey, adds complexity and fullness to the palate. This gives this beer it's viscosity and sweetness and compliments the earthy oak very nicely. The ABV is excellently masked with little to no heat making it incredibly quaffable. There is subtle heat and warmth in the finish but it's very faint. It's unbelievable that this beer is 12.7%. would have guessed under ten percent. Insanely drinkable at this strength.

Overall, I was very impressed with this beer and thought that it was much more complex, flavorful and drinkable than the 09 Kate the Great which was also opened tonight. Highly recommended!

corby112, Feb 24, 2011
Photo of rye726
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Recent vintage, 12.7%

Pours a thick oily black with a silky espresso head. Nose has fudge, molasses, coffee, oak, caramel, vanilla, red wine, spicy booze, roasty malts and dark pitted fruits. Taste is nice, but lack depth and complexity found in nose. Full creamy body, nice finish. Drinks well.

rye726, Feb 21, 2011
Photo of mikeyv35
3.93/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Date: 02/06/2011
Type: 22oz. Bottle
Vintage: 2009
Glassware: Lucifer Snifter

Finally got the chance to knock this off my wants list and sample this elusive brew. My expectations are high.

Poured dark as night w/ a 1 finger dark chocolate head that left pretty heavy lacing on the glass. The look of this brew is awesome! Nose was of dark chocolate, roasted malts, molasses, and a touch of booze astringency. Taste was much the same, chocolate sweetness up front, followed by roasted nuttiness, and a finish of slight hop bite and molasses. Mouthfeel is thick and lush. The ABV is somewhat well hidden, but you definately know it is there. Drinkability is hindered by the high ABV. I drank the entire bomber myself over the course of about 2 hours and it was a struggle.

Overall, this brew was a disappointment! The flavors, aroma, and appearance were excellent, but the ABV is way too high. If MS would tone down the ABV this would be alot more drinkable like the non-BA greats like KTG or Southampton RIS. Would like to sample a bottle or two of the earlier years where the ABV was toned down.

mikeyv35, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of beergod1
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with maroon hues and a foamy tan head, with decent head retention. The nose is oaky bourbon, Dark fruit,molasses and roasted malts. The taste is vanilla,Oak, molasses and bourbon with a light bitter coffee finish. This is quite a complex Stout, Delicious. Creamy medium/full body. I need to start getting others from this Brewery.

beergod1, Feb 08, 2011
Photo of Kegatron
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Many thanks go to Bubba83 for surprising me with this in a recent trade of ours. You da' man Kevin!

Vintage 2010 12.7% ABV

This literally looks like motor oil going into the glass, with a black and viscous pour that yields a rigid finger of dark and burnt mocha head that is bordering on chocolate colored at times. By the time this finally settles down, you have a creamy ½ finger that stays rich and angry looking, and just drenches the glass with spotty froth and gooey brown oils that slowly ooze down the sides. Quite the fierce look here! The aroma is heavy with molasses, as well as notes of dark fruit, smoke, leafy tobacco, vanilla, cocoa powder; moderate warming bourbon, and some spicy alcohol. Light woodiness is present but is not jumping out, instead working with that dark fruit character to impart a bit of a wine like feel to the nose. Whew! There's a lot of complexity here but all of those flavors never seem to ground each other and were all easily identifiable in their own way. Just fantastic!

The taste has a thick sticky base to it of sugary molasses, vanilla, chocolate cake, and vinous dark fruit character that run the whole way through the profile. Things get taken to the next level with the addition of brown sugar and a bitter roastiness that hangs on the edges and then pulls together into a burnt back-end that lingers with leftover sugars and then finally dry notes of earthy tobacco and wood. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a tight and sharp chewiness that fills the palate up with all of those rich flavors. As this sits in the mouth and the carbonation starts to lessen, this achieves much more of a viscous feel that really accentuates all of that rich sweetness in the profile. This definitely has some beefy power to it but the alcohol is mostly confined to the flavors and this is overall VERY smooth for a near 13% beer. Man, the alcohol and wood really dry the finish out on this!

Wow, this was completely satisfying. Powerful, decadent, and complex, with such a smooth feel for size of it, this Midnight Sun offering just pushed all of the right buttons for me. Man, I need to find another one of these for the cellar. This beer rocked!

Kegatron, Feb 01, 2011
Berserker Imperial Stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 840 ratings.